Getting to 'Yes' When Acquiring Firms in Human Capital Intensive Industries: Medium of Exchange, Diversification Strategy, and Impasse

Journal of Management (28), 115-137, 2002

22 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 1997 Last revised: 27 Jul 2012

Date Written: August 20, 1996

Abstract

Human capital often cannot be acquired in efficient factor markets due to asymmetric information or bundling with other assets. Accordingly, many acquisitions take place in human capital intensive industries. However, such transactions may be more prone to impasse since asymmetric information is also a dilemma for buyers. This study (n=714) explores the impact of target industry human capital intensity on the probability of reaching an agreement. Such transactions were found to have a higher probability of closing unless: 1) buyers fail to offer contingent payment; or 2) buyers are pursuing related diversification. These findings have implications for diversification theory and resource-based theory.

JEL Classification: D82, G34

Suggested Citation

Coff, Russell Wayne, Getting to 'Yes' When Acquiring Firms in Human Capital Intensive Industries: Medium of Exchange, Diversification Strategy, and Impasse (August 20, 1996). Journal of Management (28), 115-137, 2002, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=8391

Russell Wayne Coff (Contact Author)

Wisconsin School of Business ( email )

975 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706
United States

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